whither librarianship, I mean Wikipedia, I mean librarianship

Joe Janes wrote a column about Wikipedia in the latest American Libraries. And then I posted a big-ass comment about why librarians should edit Wikipedia (which they published, happily).


(For the Wikipedians who may read this, Professor Janes taught me a lot of what I know about how to do reference and how to Think Like a Librarian ™. For the librarians who may read this: trying to convince other people to edit Wikipedia is basically what I spend a lot of my time doing).

Which reminds me: in my last post, about things I’d like to see happen in Wikimedia, I made a rather flip comment about there not being any outreach to libraries. This, of course, is totally untrue, as Pharos of the amazing New York City Wikimedia chapter reminded me. They have done some fabulous outreach with NYPL, having editing days in the library and also teaching librarians how to edit. Pharos has also started a page about such cultural projects.

There’s also been several moves to work with university libraries, and a lot of unprompted work within the library community as well, such as a workshop held at ALA Midwinter before last and run by my friend Ken. And I guess I shouldn’t forget our outreach to the amazing Biblioteca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria, who hosted Wikimania 2008 and remains a partner.

I just want to see more! There’s so much to do.

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One Response to whither librarianship, I mean Wikipedia, I mean librarianship

  1. llywrch says:

    Once upon a time, I was interested in developing a “Wikipedian in Residence” program, which would allow Wikipedians (or let’s just say WikiMedians) to get privileges at various institutions in return for… well, beyond good will I never did have a winning reason. (I know I mentioned the idea to you Phoebe, but you asked how much it would cost a library, then we got distracted with buying a lot of stuff at Michael’s & you might have forgotten all about it.)

    There are a number of responsible Wikipedians (& Wikimedians) who would be more than eager to share what they know in return to various librarians for access to the printed & online resources they might not otherwise have access to. (I know of a couple of specialized periodicals I’d love access to, but I doubt ILL will help me with.) Maybe a deal can be worked out.


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